There are more bikes than people in Amsterdam, about 880.000. In Holland, traditionally, the bicycle is used as a means of transportation. It’s an easy way to get around as there are no hills or mountains in The Netherlands and the climate is mild, so biking in Amsterdam can be done in summer and winter.
Many people in Holland have more than one bike. They have their ‘station bike’, the crappy old one they use to get to and from the station. In Amsterdam most of the bikes look very old, rusty and crappy. That’s is because a shiny new bike is more likely to be stolen.
Cycling in Holland
For more sportive and leisure events, people in Netherlands have a second bike. The competitive version, called ‘wielrennen’ is a serious and very popular sports. Many cities and villages organise their own cycling race. In summer, millions of people follow the Tour the France on television, a famous bike race in France that is aired live every day.
Amsterdam hipster bikes
More and more cities around the world see the benefits of biking in an urban environment. Probably that is the reason why also in Amsterdam cycling is becoming more and more popular as a sports and hipsters use the vintage cycling bikes as a normal means of transportation. Dutch people carry everything on their bike, even 3 kids and groceries are no problem for this Amsterdam mom!
Parking your bike in Amsterdam
After the shortage of parking spaces for cars, there now seems to be a problem with finding a place to park your bike. Part of the problem are what are called orphan bikes: thousands of bikes are left locked in the streets, to waste, abandoned by their owners.
Lost your bike in Amsterdam?
To tackle this problem, unused bikes are regularly taken off the streets. First there is warning leaflet left on the bike. If you don’t remove the leaflet within a certain period, the bike is moved to the Bicycle Depository run by the city council. You can pick up your bike there.
Electric bikes in Amsterdam
More and more people use electric bikes in The Netherlands and also in Amsterdam. Especially people that need to travel long to work, use e-bikes and older people. As e-bikes are much more expensive to buy, they must be kept in a garage or storage for safety. At some rentals you also rent electrical bicycles, but I don’t recommend that when you have never biked in Amsterdam! For the UK, you can use Plusvouchercode and leverage a discount when buying your new e-bike.
Some interesting Amsterdam bicycle statistics:
- In Amsterdam there are about 880.000 bikes and 215.000 cars.
- According to estimates 15% of the bikes in the street are never or rarely used.
- The lost bikes depot holds more than 12.000 bicycles every day.
- About 40% of these bikes are eventually being picked up by their owners.
- About 50.000 bikes get stolen every year, which is 8% of the total amount of bikes. The rate for bike theft is going down.
- In 2001 16% of the bikes were stolen.
- 6 out of 10 people who live in Amsterdam have a bike parked in the centre which they don’t use.
- 55% of the Amsterdam people consider orphan bikes a major problem, because these bikes take up parking space and make the streets look messy.